As the Justice League movie kicks off its promotional tour with a stop in Beijing, star Gal Gadot has confirmed that Wonder Woman's character trajectory was altered in the aftermath of her cinematic debut in Batman v Superman. As a refresher: during Superman's funeral scene in the latter film, Diana has a conversation with Bruce Wayne in which she reveals, "100 years ago, I walked away from mankind." This line was clearly intended to explain where she'd been in the last century, since the character's then-upcoming solo film was set to take place way back in WWI. From what fans could gather at the time, Diana chose to distance herself from humanity after witnessing firsthand the horrors that mankind was capable of.
But when Wonder Woman arrived in theaters a little over a year later, something seemed to have changed. The third act of the film actually placed Diana's undying love for mankind at the forefront of the action; she refuses to kill Doctor Poison, despite the various evils that the villain had committed, and the final scene even saw her suiting up once more to do some crimefighting in modern day Paris. This is very clearly a hero that hasn't given up on humanity, and while the character change could be explored in the Cold War-set Wonder Woman 2, as of now, there's still a gap between BvS funeral scene Diana and the one we're left with at the end of Wonder Woman.
Fans won't have to wait until 2019 for answers, however, as Wonder Woman herself has a (surprisingly straightforward) explanation. During the first leg of Justice League's promotional tour in Beijing, Gal Gadot candidly chalked up the change to what is essentially a retcon.
We realized that actually, there is no way that Wonder Woman will ever give up on mankind. The reason why she left the island was because she wanted to make their life better and safer - they are her calling. So - I'm giving you a very honest answer - sometimes, in a creative process, you establish something that is not necessarily the right decision, but then you can always correct it and change it. So Wonder Woman will always be there as far as she concerns for mankind.
Gadot isn't underselling when she says that she's offering up a very honest answer here. While fans attempted to fill in the blanks between BvS and Wonder Woman with layered theories and complex explanations, according to the actress, the altered characterization is simply a matter of the creative minds behind DC's shared universe deciding that they wanted to take Diana in a different direction. Whether or not the change will actually be explained onscreen remains to be seen, of course.
Fans will surely draw their own conclusions from Diana's confirmed retconning. Honestly, it's fair to question whether this change has anything to do with the harsh critical reaction to Batman v Superman and the DCEU as a whole prior to Wonder Woman. Regardless of who you choose to blame/credit for the situation, it's probably best to simply be grateful that, in the end, we got the Wonder Woman we deserved.